Julia and Joseph's Journey

March 04, 2019

Julia and Joseph's Journey


Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel's Framed Horseshoe Memento Alignment

Framed Horseshoe Memento of Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel. 


Julia Hadley was introduced to thoroughbred 'Joseph Samuel' during a school holiday break when she was just 16 years old. He was 7 and had just finished his racing career. Notching up just two wins from 22 starts, Julia set out to see what they might be able to achieve on new career path for Joseph as an eventer.

Horse riding was always in Julia’s blood, “I remember as soon as I was big enough I would climb the fence, Mum would ride alongside, pick me up, sit me in front of her and we’d ride together” says Julia.

Cheleken Pirate (bred Caspian by Hopstone Atesh), was Julia’s first pony at the age of 9. Up until then she had attended Pony Club on her Mum’s old horse.  When Julia outgrew Cheleken Pirate, she moved onto Inchcliffe Sovereign.

 Inchcliffe Sovereign and Julia Hadley Pony Club HT Champs 1997

Julia Hadley and Inchcliffe Sovereign at the Pony Club Horse Trials Championships, 1997. Photo credit: Unknown.


The two achieved a lot together, representing Waikato at Pony Club HT Championships in 1997 (with Waikato winning), Teams Event and the North Island Show Jumping Championships. Competing at the same events all over again in 1998. They also represented Waikato at Pony Club Dressage Championships.

Inevitably and with much sadness, Julia outgrew Inchcliffe Sovereign. She then moved onto her first hack, Free Time by Distelfink. He had competed to Intermediate level horse trials winning the CIC1* One Day Championships prior to Julia's partnership with him.

The following year Julia competed in her first three day event at Taupo “this was back in the day of long format three day events, and it was such a thrill!” recalls Julia.

 Free Time and Julia Hadley Taupo CCI1 Taupo New Zealand

Julia Hadley and Free Time at Taupo CCI1*  2001. Photo credit: Unknown.


Free Time was also a very competitive showjumper in 1.10m – 1.15m classes. At Horse of the Year Julia and Free Time won a class out of more than 100 riders.

It was Taranaki veterinarian, Jim Robins that heard about a horse called Last Orders who was finishing racing. Owner, Vicki Morgan (Head Girl at Kevin Gray's racing stable), wanted him to go to a loving home.

Bred in South Island by Mrs B A Smith in 1992, he was a full thoroughbred by Little Brown Jug (hence the race name Last Orders), out of a mare called Imperatrix who was by Imperial Seal.  

Last Orders (Joseph Samuel) First Horse Race

Last Orders (Joseph Samuel) first race. Photo credit: Unknown.


Jim (with Julia in mind), said he knew just the home for him. Julia had previously purchased an off the track thoroughbred from Jim and Jeanette Robins. That horse sadly developed a condition, resulting in a lot of time spent at Massey University Equine Hospital, and in the end having to be put down.

It was Jeanette Robins who changed Last Orders name to Joseph Samuel.

Describing her first impression of Joseph, Julia says “I remember him being so kind and obliging and just so lovely. He was quite big and striking, and I loved his white blaze. He had a presence about him.”  

 Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel Taupo CCI3* 2005

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Taupo CCI3* 2005. Photo credit: Unknown.


Training came easy to Joseph. "He was super easy to teach. He was so gentle, he never bit, or kicked, he never bucked or bolted, he was always so polite," says Julia. "He knew lots of word commands like 'back up' and 'over' that I could just say and he would do. He probably could have been a movie horse, you could do anything with him and he never spooked."

“This probably sounds really silly," says Julia. "But it was like he understood me.  He was a really intelligent horse. I think we just had a really super bond, we just clicked.” 

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel One Day Champs CIC3* 2006

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at One Day Championships CIC3* 2006. Photo credit: Unknown.


Joseph wasn't all manners and no personality, he had a hilarious sense of humor. "He used to chase anything that went in his paddock – sheep, dogs, cats, even Mum! He just thought he was being funny, but Mum didn’t think so. He was always good for me though.

"When he was tied up at home, or at a show he would untie himself.  Sometimes he would wander off and other times he would just stand there untied.

"Once he undid a shackle in the truck on a trip from home to the Hawke’s Bay!" laughs Julia.

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel Richfields CIC3* 2007

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Richfields CIC3* 2007. Photo credit: Unknown.


 Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel Taupo CIC3* 2009

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Taupo CIC3* 2009. Photo credit: Unknown.


Asked what made Julia take the leap to head from New Zealand to the United Kingdom, she responds. “I had always wanted to compete at Badminton Horse Trials, that was my big dream! I knew Joseph was a special horse and that I’d probably never have another horse like him, and if I was going to go, I should just do it.”

Joseph at Auckland Airport 2010 preparing to fly to the UK

Julia Hadley with Joseph Samuel at Auckland Airport 2010. Photo credit: Unknown.


Julia and Joseph based with renowned international event rider Harry Meade at West Littleton in Wiltshire.  “Harry has a smaller yard than most, so every horse receives wonderful one-on-one treatment which really suited Joseph and I” explains Julia. “In my opinion, Harry is one of the best riders and all round horsemen, and I was really lucky he let me base with him”.

 At Harry Meade's in the UK

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Harry Meade's, UK 2010. Photo credit: Unknown.


Harry’s head girl was Karen Hughes. “She was an amazing groom, having been to five Olympic Games. Karen had so much knowledge and was so willing to help” Julia says.

At Captain Mark Phillips in the UK

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Captain Mark Phillips, UK 2010. Photo credit: Unknown.


Chatsworth Horse Trials was the first event that Julia and Joseph competed in upon arrival in the UK.  Asked what it was like being a kiwi competing in the UK, Julia says “It was amazing! The level of professionalism was very high. It was incredible seeing all the famous people that you’ve grown up reading about and watching on telly! 

"I remember at one point Mum was leading Joseph and his rug fell off, seeing it, Oliver Townend said “You’ve dropped your rug love”, he picked it up and gave it back to her.”

 Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Chatsworth Horse Trials UK 2010

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Chatsworth Horse Trials CIC3* (UK), 2010. Photo credit: Unknown.


Julia admits that competing at Chatsworth is one of her greatest achievements, particularly jumping a clear cross country. "Joseph had very few cross country faults during his career. The only faults he ever had were when I fell off, or crossed my tracks. He also had very few show jumping rails. He was an amazing jumper!”.

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel Chatsworth Horse Trials UK 2010

Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel at Chatsworth Horse Trials CIC3* (UK), 2010. Photo credit: Unknown.


Disappointingly, Julia’s dream of competing at Badminton never transpired with their UK plans cut short.  Many factors contributed to that dream not being realised, Joseph didn’t cope well with the Equine Influenza vaccinations that he had before leaving New Zealand and then there was the eruption of the Icelandic volcano that delayed and cancelled a lot of flights at the time.

Chatsworth Horse Trials in 2010, was the last competitive outing of Joseph's eventing career. Julia retired her trusted partner upon returning to New Zealand and Joseph happily lived his days out with girlfriend Popeye.

“Popeye is Mum’s horse who she has had since 1994. Joseph loved her very much, no other horses were allowed near her!” says Julia.

Joseph Samuel and Popeye

Popeye and Joseph Samuel, 2019. Photo credit: Unknown.


Asked why Julia held onto Joseph's last set of competitive horseshoes she explains “I loved the fact that he’d left NZ wearing them and competed in the UK wearing them. After they were taken off I cleaned them up and put them in the carry bag that was coming back to NZ with him (his bag also included his passport and carnet documentation)”.

Joseph Samuel's Horseshoe Worn During Chatsworth Horse Trials 2010

Joseph Samuel's worn horseshoe from Chatsworth Horse Trials CIC3* (UK), 2010. 


It was at Equidays, Mystery Creek where Julia first came across Horseshoe Mementoes. “I had missed the Horseshoe Mementoes stand, but Mum didn’t, she picked up a flyer and showed me afterwards and I was like – wow! What a super idea! Then I remember seeing Clarke Johnstone’s gold Horseshoe Memento he got using Richie’s shoe from Rio Olympics, and I thought – golly, I must get on to doing Joseph’s shoe.

“When we had to have Joseph put to sleep, I got into action and contacted Kate at Horseshoe Mementoes. She was so lovely and empathetic and made the whole process so easy.” says Julia.

Julia chose a Framed Horseshoe Memento with two photographs and a horseshoe from Joseph's last competitive outing at Chatsworth Horse Trials.  The horseshoe was restored by Horseshoe Mementoes in their matte champagne finish prior to framing.  The two photographs that Julia selected were also a memory from Chatsworth. 

Julia Hadley's Framed Horseshoe Memento: Memories of Joseph Samuel

Framed Horseshoe Memento of Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel.


Asked what the Framed Horseshoe Memento would give to Julia she shares “Having the memento done now has made it easier to get through losing Joseph because I’ve had it arriving to look forward to. Making the decision to put him to sleep was so hard, but I knew the time was coming and it was in his best interest. For me, I think it means more having the Framed Horseshoe Memento done now than if I’d done it earlier.”

And where will Julia display it? “I’ve been wracking my brain about where to hang Joseph’s memento! While I’ve been waiting for it to arrive, I thought I knew where I wanted it, but now that it has arrived and it’s so impressive, I want to put it somewhere really prominent, but I only have a little two bedroom cottage and wall space is limited!

"I’m thinking I might put it on the wall between the lounge and the dining room so it’s easy to see all the time. At the moment I’m just holding it up in different places to get a feel for where it would be best suited” says Julia.



Julia Hadley and Joseph Samuel competed up to CCI3* level and were qualified to compete at CCI4* level. They competed to Open Medium level dressage and 1.20m showjumping. One of their best results was coming third in the 2006 CIC3* One Day Champs in New Zealand. As well as jumping a clear cross country at Chatsworth Horse Trials (UK) in 2010, another career highlight was jumping clear around New Zealand's Kihikihi Horse Trials when it was the World Cup Qualifier.

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